Should You Insulate Your Water Pipes
As Texans are still recovering from the February freeze, many homeowners have started exploring the options available to better insulate their plumbing lines. The majority of this push is centered around preventing pipes from bursting in the event that major winter storms become more frequent in north Texas.
Outside of a preventative measure, homeowners may be pleasantly surprised that there are a host of additional benefits to insulating their pipes that go beyond a doomsday scenario for Desoto plumbing. Throw in the fact that many homeowners choose to take a DIY approach, and this cost-effective strategy can pay off in more ways than one.
Tackling an insulation project can be fairly straightforward, yet many homeowners prefer to go the route of professional installation. If you are weighing your options, give the Dial1 Johnson
team a call and we can help you decide what is best for your home.
5 Benefits to Insulating Your Plumbing
When mentioning pipe insulation, the immediate thought for most homeowners is to prevent a water leak when the mercury starts to drop during extreme weather. There is no doubt that this is one of the most common reasons for insulating Desoto plumbing lines, yet it is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of additional benefits.
As it is likely the reason that you found this article, preventing frozen pipes is a natural place to start. Most of the plumbing lines in Dallas area homes are located underground or run through the attic. These areas of the home are often less insulated, if they are insulated at all.
As the temperature drops below freezing, water solidifies and expands as it turns to ice. The result, as we have seen during this past February’s winter storm, can be catastrophic. Insulation provides a barrier that can help more evenly regulate the temperature of your water pipes. This type of preventative measure is common for homes farther north, where cold winters are the norm.
One benefit that might not immediately come to mind is reducing the amount of condensation that your water lines produce. Cold-water lines and the sweltering Texas heat do not play nice together. Consider your favorite cold beverage on a summer day. It doesn’t take long before the can or glass is sweating. To resolve the issue, most people use a koozie to keep their beverage frosty cold and their hands dry. Insulating cold-water pipes essentially acts as a koozie for your home plumbing system.
Additional condensation can promote the growth of mold and mildew. With lines frequently located in hard-to-reach areas, the issues often can go unresolved until they progress to the point of no return. Insulation can essentially eliminate the issue
Depending on the setting of your hot water heater, water can enter your hot water lines at anywhere from 104 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Uninsulated lines are not able to retain the heat as well, and by the time the water hits your back in the shower, it can be 5-10 degrees colder than when leaving the hot water heater.
No big deal, right? You can just crank up hot water, to get that shower temperature just right. While this might work well enough, it also means that you will drain your hot water heater faster. If you are first in line to get a shower each morning, you might not feel the effect. But, if your house is filled with teenagers, you might be left out in the cold.
All jokes aside, your hot water heater working overtime is never ideal. Overtime costs money, point-blank. Heating water for your home accounts for approximately 8-10% of yearly energy costs. Energy Star rated hot water heaters can help keep this to the lower end, but heat loss through your pipes and the need to use more hot water to get the desired shower temp you love is going to take you to the other end of this spectrum.
Once the insulation is installed, the hot water temperature setting can be lowered. This will reduce the overall amount of energy needed to heat the water, keeping your family comfortable while saving homeowners in the long run.
Prolonged Life of Plumbing System
Like other home systems, Desoto plumbing has a finite lifespan, and taking additional measures to prolong the life of your system should be a high priority. Under ideal conditions, copper pipes last an average of 50 years. This number can be drastically reduced when pipes are exposed to extreme temperatures.
Fingers crossed, this past winter’s major storm is more the exception than the norm, but the Texas heat is as reliable as the sunrise. Taking the time to invest in insulating your home’s water pipes can reduce the stress on the system and for your family when extreme weather invades the Metroplex.
DIY vs Professional Installation
Now that you know some of the biggest benefits of insulating your Desoto plumbing lines, the question inevitably turns to DIY or professional installation? There are pros and cons to both, and ultimately it is a choice that you should go into as educated as possible.
Taking a DIY approach is certainly done as a cost-saving measure. And with a decent portion of your home’s water pipes being easily accessible it can seem like a quick honey-do that you can tackle over a weekend. What you might fail to realize is that approximately half of the lines will be behind walls, or run under the home. Before you know it, that quick honey-do can turn into a major project.
Alternatively, working with a licensed plumber can certainly save you time and frustration but there is an added cost. Professionals will be equipped with tools to make the job much easier than the average homeowner has laying around in their garage.
Finding a Desoto Plumber
If you don’t like the prospect of crawling through your attic during the hot summer months, or you are claustrophobic and will never crawl under your home, perhaps the best course of action is to call a professional. Know that you are doing the right thing for your home and the investment is certainly worth the time and money.
The Dial1 Johnson team has been helping Ellis County homeowners for over 50 years. We have seen just about every Desoto plumbing issue that you might imagine and our team is on call, offering 24-hour emergency service. Visit our website to learn more about our services or schedule your appointment with one of our rockstar plumbers.